Weekend Away

This past weekend we enjoyed some time in the mountains with our friends.  Mike and I went to college with Nate and Libby and have remained friends ever since.  Our boys are near the same age as theirs, but they have one additional boy.  We had a fantastic time up in Breck.  Thankfully the boys all get along really well and we adults enjoy spending time together, too!

Saturday was spent on the mountain skiing.  E and M both reached a milestone – they did part of a blue run!  E later did a full blue run while the snow was falling and conditions were a little more dicey – Mike was pretty impressed!

On Sunday before heading home, we spent a good chunk of the day sledding.

We were so thankful for the timing of this trip.  The Lord orchestrated it all back in the summer, knowing that it would be a sweet reprieve for us all.

Winter Wonderland

After a sunny and warm weekend, the weather turned cold and snowy.  I think I heard that there was a temperature shift of 60 degrees in 24 hours.  I spent much of the day vacillating between my comfy spot on the nook – with tea and good books (my favorite place in our home) – and the table where much of the homeschooling takes place.

BUT, in between it all, I took the boys sledding for recess.  It was pretty fun! =)

And Micah is crazy…

And then Daddio had hot chocolate ready for us upon our return.  The boys are no longer impressed with my “sneaky” picture taking.  We’re reading “The Prairie Thief” right now and it’s a pretty fun story!


First Stop: Minnesota

We drove to Minneapolis the week before Christmas and spent a few days there.  The boys are fantastic travelers, thankfully.  They keep themselves busy with coloring, looking at books, and listening to audiobooks.  And, of course, having tic tacs or gum all day long. =)


Mike worked while we were there, of course, so the boys and I kept ourselves occupied throughout the day.  One day we spent exploring the “tubes”.  We made it all the way to Mike’s office and had some kombucha on tap there and also grabbed some lunch with our guy.

Most of the rest of the time we hung around the hotel and played a lot of billiards. =)  We also got in some “work outs”, drank hot chocolate, did some school and played some games.  In retrospect, I would have scheduled another outing (like a children’s museum or something!), but the boys had seemed so content to hang at the hotel so we did that this time around.  We also always had dinner with Mikey when he was done at the office.

The main reason we went to Minneapolis was to attend the family Christmas party.  It was pretty fun and a really unique location!  Ethan played at least 3 games of mini-golf on a cool course designed by various artists.  Micah and I played a whole lot of arcade games from the 60s, like bowling and foos ball.

We had a great time in Minneapolis, but by Friday afternoon we were headed to Wisconsin for some family time!

Advent Activities 11-14

Day 11: Christmas craft & Christmas cookies.  We put two together on this day because I had hopes of doing a special advent activity with Aunt Ashley the following day.  Unfortunately, their family was sick so we had to postpone.  So, my day 12 activity was kind of made up on the fly. =)  Thanks, Grandma Cleve, for the train ornaments!

Oh, also, I forgot this trick…if the boys refuse to smile or can’t handle not smiling with huge eyes…tell them to look at each other. So much cuter!

Day 12: drink hot chocolate and read “A Christmas Carol”.  We read a children’s version of the story to prep for day 14….


Day 13: This was supposed to be banket-making with Auntie Mel, but there was sickness in their house, too.  So, sadly, this was postponed, also.  It ended up being a really rough and exhausting day for me.  I had pretty much cancelled Advent Activities and reached my very own milestone – calling my mom in tears over parenting. =/  BUT, the Lord gave me a wonderful idea that night…to pour grace upon grace on them so that they would have a tangible example of God’s grace and love towards us.  I sent them to bed early because oh.my.word. the day was too long!  But before they fell asleep, I got them out of bed for a late-night drive to see Christmas lights.  The message was loud and clear: you don’t deserve this, but grace wins!  It was a great lesson for me, too…I had to ask myself, how do I respond to His grace and goodness in my life?  Do I obey willingly and thank Him?  Or do I do my own thing and forget to be still and rest in His goodness?

Day 14: Watch “A Christmas Carol” downtown!  We had excellent seats for this fairly scary performance and saw lots of our CC friends there.  Afterwards we got to chat with some of the actors/stage crew people about their roles.  It was really neat!  Also…smiling is hard for us right now. =/


Advent Activities 1-4

You may recall that this season of preparation and waiting is my favorite.  I love it.  And I love making each day filled with little activities keeping our hearts and minds focused on the real meaning of Christmas.  I’m feeling a little stretched thin this year, so the planning isn’t what I would like it to be…but I’m just trying to move forward without the pressure of doing everything memorably. =)  If the boys have a general joy-filled sense that the Christmas season is about celebrating Jesus’ first coming and anticipating His second one, I’ll be pleased.

We are using Advent Calendar workbooks given by Grandma Cleve this year as our study (thank you, Grandma Cleve!!!). And Micah is coloring a picture for each day from his CBS teacher (Side note – CBS is his favorite day of the week now!  How far we’ve come by the grace of God!!).

Day 1 – make snowflakes and hang them from the ceiling in the boys’ room:

Day 2 – watch a Christmas movie:


Day 3 – breakfast for dinner (Micah’s birthday): WAFFLES (thanks, Amy, for the waffle-maker!)

Day 4 – Red and green dinner (one of my personal favorites!):


Global Bazaar

The boys and I had the opportunity to sell Jennie’s products at the Global Bazaar at our church this past Saturday.  They both helped me set up the table (we had differing views of what looked good…) the night before:

And then we spent the whole day at church on Saturday.  I was surprised to see that Micah stayed the whole time and loved helping to wrap items!  He didn’t complain at all. Ethan was a little social butterfly and spent most of the day playing with various friends from church.  He also spent time looking for presents for people. =)

Thanks for trusting us to sell your beautiful product, Jen!!  We had a great time!

Christmas Blankets

So back when my parents were in town, my Mom and I started working on Christmas/winter pillow covers.  This project got me super jazzed!  So when the boys and I were at the fabric store for something unrelated and I saw fleece on sale 50% off…I decided to make Christmas blankets with the boys.  Don’t even get me started at how much I ended up spending on this endeavor…my word…but we had fun working on them together and I am hopeful that we will find them adorable and cuddly for years to come!

And the pillows that got this whole thing started…


I sent this picture (below) to my Mom to “guilt” her into finishing the final two pillows.


Doesn’t she do wonderful work?!